"Alive but Dead" - Farenheit 451

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“Alive but dead”

Ray Bradbury uses figurative language in Fahrenheit 451 by using the terms “alive yet not alive” and “dead but not dead.” By using these terms Bradbury is saying that things are alive when they are not, but in reality they are just machines. Bradbury also says things are dead, but really they are alive and human. Bradbury uses the term, “alive yet not alive,” when talking about Mildred. He also uses the term, “dead but not dead,” when talking about the snake that sucked all the fluids out of Mildred and the mechanical dog that the fire department had.

Mildred is “alive yet not alive;” this is an underlying theme that comes up several times within the novel. In Mildred’s case she is alive and breathing, but really she is a dead person in the perspective of natural human action. She is so amused by the three-walled television in the living room because each wall portrays a different member of her family. Each wall talks to her and is very loud which caused her to spend most of her time in the living room. She is too busy with the three walls to do any thing else around the house, such as cooking. There is a machine that cooks for her. “Toast popped out of the silver toaster, was seized by a spidery metal hand that drenched it with melted butter.” This quote shows how Mildred does not cook, but that it is a robot that really does the cooking.

The snake that sucked all the green fluid out of Mildred is “alive yet not alive.” By saying that the machines is “alive yet not alive,” Bradbury is stating the fact that the machine is more alive than most of the people in the novel. You can reason this by looking at what the machine does and what the humans do. The machine has an important role to do; “it drank up the green matter that flowed to the top in a slow boil” in the stomach. The average human does not have a particular role to play. They are just out there doing whatever, like Mildred watching television and listening to their...
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